Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Come Back

Is the summer really over??  It sure is here in Norway.  Here are some reasons I'm excited for fall:
  • The leaves are changing to their beautiful shades of yellow and orange
  • Our house is really cozy when it's gray and dreary outside
  • We like lighting fires in our fireplace 
  • It's supposed to be cold in the fall/winter so it's not disappointing when it is
  • Because we'll be here all winter, we might go shopping for real Norwegian outerwear - yippee!
We did do one last hike before the weather turned, and it was such a beautiful day.  



We hadn't been hiking in a while because of my knee.  I wasn't sure what happened on that hike in May when Jeff's sister was in town and my knee made a weird pop, but after a visit to a doctor and an MRI in August (this was an experience in and of itself) it turns out that I have a chondral lesion behind my patella (say what??).  Not exactly sure how it happened, but I was told that it could get better without surgery and to continue life as normal + pain killers. So, on with the hiking!

Next stop? Kjerag. Because a come back means going big or going home.

The hiking route to Kjerag

Though the drive out to Sirdal was sunny, our drive through the mountain pass to the base of Kjerag showed us we would be starting the hike in some fog.  Luckily, the first few hundred meters are practically straight up (did I say luckily?) so we rose above the clouds quickly and the sun burned them off.  



I would have kept on going, but Jeff wanted to take in the view (wimp).  


I also used this time to search for blueberries and actually found some!  They weren't the best I'd ever tasted but picking them myself did make them the most satisfying.  


Good thing my knee had some time to heal because this is definitely the hardest hike we've done.  It's 6 kilometers in length and a max incline of 380 meters so the 2.5 hours it takes to hike up and over to "the Bolt" is quite a workout.



At first I thought this would be similar to hiking Preikestolen, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It's opposite the same fjord yet the terrain is more mountainous because the hike starts at the same elevation that Preikestolen ends.  Hiking Kjerag also rewarded us with views of the fjord along the entire hike, rather than just at the peak.  And, though Preikestolen was a steadier incline throughout, Kjerag's intense climbs ended with wide valleys - very "the hills are alive" sort of surroundings.  Jeff loves it when I break out in song, so I just embraced the moment.
  

The major difference between Preikestolen and Kjerag?  The Bolt!

Kjeragbolten

Few things can top the views from Preikestolen, but there's something about standing on a boulder wedged between two cliffs that makes you feel like you've really accomplished something.  We even found someone to take a picture of the two of us!  Jeff likes embracing the moment just as much as I do :)